Although I’m primarily a printmaker, I’ve always loved collage, and often incorporate collage elements into my prints. Since last summer, I’ve been making seascape collages from torn strips of coloured paper. I’ve been selling them in little wooden frames at markets and art fairs, and they’ve been really popular. Several people have asked me how to make them, so I have started holding workshops in my studio for small groups of up to 6 people.
I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to paper, so I have a huge box filled to the brim with magazine pages, envelopes, packaging, wrapping paper, wallpaper, tickets and all sorts of printed paraphernalia. I have to admit to subscribing to the mailing lists of several up-market clothing brands, purely because their catalogues are printed on beautiful paper! Before anything paper-based goes into the recycling bin, it’s always closely examined for collage usefulness.
When people come to make collages with me, they can rummage through the box and choose which colours they want to use – or, they can bring along their own supplies. It’s sometimes nice to incorporate bits and pieces with a history into a collage – maybe a picture of a place you love, or something you collected at a special time.
The collages are fun and easy to make. Every beach is different, and even the same beach is different on every day of the year, as the weather and the tide changes, so there’s no right or wrong when it comes to making your scene. The way the paper tears and leaves an uneven white edge is perfect for depicting the waves breaking out at sea, so it really is the perfect medium to use.
I have had people come along to these workshops feeling extremely sceptical about what they can produce, only to leave feeling proud with a wonderful framed collage ready to hang on their wall. It’s always lovely to see what people make – in the last workshop we had some very dark, moody seas, and one which was entirely green and grey with no blues at all – probably my favourite!
If you’d like to come along and make a beach collage yourself, just get in touch.